16th February 2004
Thank you for your recent fax regarding the celebrations of the Chinese New Year in Paris.
I have contacted the French embassy in Dublin on this matter and will revert to you once I receive their response.
I would point out that the European parliament has repeatedly expressed concern at the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China. In a resolution adopted last year, the EP urged Chinese authorities to recognise that the great majority of practitioners in no way threaten the authority of the government and also urged the Falun Gong to pursue its right to practice in a responsible and non-confrontational manner.
The European Parliament has been repeatedly informed by the Commission and the Council that “the EU, in all political dialogue meetings with China, underlines the importance it attaches to respect for human rights, including the freedom of religion and belief and that it will continue to do so on every possible occasion. At every session of the human rights dialogue with China, the EU urges the Chinese authorities to respect the human rights of the followers of Falun Gong. In addition, the EU Heads of Mission in Beijing and in Hong Kong follow developments in the human rights area very closely.”(council’s answer to parliamentary question on Falun Gong in China 26 March 2003)
Proinsias De Rossa MEP
Vice-President Socialist Group
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